We're in Minnesota. I'm sitting here in the cabin looking out at the lake and listening to loons. (The loons in this case would be the actual birds, not my husband and child). Peaceful.
WCK is a pretty good traveler. Because of her infamous motion-sickness problem, she can't do much in the car. She can't watch movies or look at books or color or anything like that. Fortunately, she's pretty content to sit in her car seat and listen to Mr. Stinky Feet and chat about what she sees out the window. We're pretty fortunate, except we've listened to the four Stinky Feet CDs that we own about 20 times each. If I hear ...
There's seven holes in my head
You heard me right, that's what I said
I've got seven holes in my head
Seven holes in my head!
... one more time, I'm going to drill an extra hole in my own head, I swear.
On the first day of the trip, we stopped in Iowa to see my sister, brother-in-law, and World's Cutest Niece, who is four months younger than WCK. WCN was so excited to see her cousin that she sprinted out of her house, squealing, and hugged WCK so hard that they both fell over onto the grass. It was sweet. After a nice walk and a picnic lunch, we headed to the Twin Cities.
We got to the hotel, and WCK thought it was THE MOST EXCITING PLACE SHE HAD EVER BEEN. She was beside herself. She could not believe that her amazing parents had brought her to a HOTEL. Of course, this meant bedtime did not go well. How can you sleep in the MOST EXCITING PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? She was up until midnight, trying to climb on the air conditioner. Jay and I turned into the Evil Parent versions of ourselves. I kept hearing my father's voice coming out of my mouth. "WCK, it is ten o'clock (dramatic pause) AT NIGHT." WCK did not care. The fact that our hotel room was right next to a bar -- apparently the home to the National Drunken Yelling Championships -- did not help things. She was up bright and early at 7 a.m., and we drove to Grand Rapids, MN, the birthplace of Judy Garland.
WCK had a little nap in the car, so our plan was to eat lunch and then go directly to the Judy Garland Museum. Then we got to Subway, and WCK had a major meltdown because we ran out of Baked Lays. Back to the hotel for a nap.
Except, of course, this hotel was now THE MOST EXCITING PLACE SHE HAD EVER BEEN. She did not nap, so we gave up and swam in the hotel pool and later went out for pizza -- again, hugely exciting. The bedtime battle raged on again last night until about 10 p.m. The fact that our hotel room was right next to the pool -- apparently home to the National Screaming Children Championships -- did not help things.
But we were up again bright and early and actually made it to the Judy Garland Museum. They've done a major remodel since I was there last, and it is just fabulous. They have some amazing Judy memorabilia on display, and a brand-new children's museum. You can also tour the house where Judy lived as a young child, and it's all connected to the brand-new museum now. Two of the Munchkins were in town just last week, and the woman working there informed me that there are only five Munckins left alive. Five!
Security there is really tight, because somebody actually stole a pair of the original Ruby Slippers from that museum a few years ago. What good would that do you, I ask you? And before you begin to suspect, it wasn't me. Judy Garland had size-five feet. I, ah, do NOT have size five feet. I prefer my size nine fake Ruby Slippers that I can wear around the house from time to time.
Don't judge me.
After the museum, we had a good lunch at Auntie Em's Cafe. WCK did very well, and then she had a breakdown in the gift shop and we needed to leave. I'd been considering about $50 in Oz merchandise that I didn't really need, so she saved me from myself. Thank you, WCK.
She napped all the way to the cabin, and here we are. The weather is perfect. It is breathtakingly beautiful up here, but from time to time I think about what it must be like in the winter, and I nearly have a panic attack. But right now it is beautiful. And WCK is quiet -- probably not asleep, but quiet -- in her own bedroom. That's beautiful, too.